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Sparkling water: Benefits, risks, and more

Sparkling water contains dissolved carbon dioxide

(CO2) gas, which makes the water fizzy. The carbonation of sparkling water can occur

naturally or artificially.

Sparkling or carbonated water forms naturally when volcanic gases dissolve in

springs or wells of natural water. This naturally occurring sparkling water often

contains minerals such as sodium or calcium.

To artificially carbonate water, pressurized CO2 is injected into the water, forming

bubbles. Artificially carbonated water may naturally contain minerals, or it may have

minerals added to it.

There has been some debate regarding the health implications of sparkling water.

Read on to discover the possible risks of drinking sparkling water and how it compares

to other carbonated drinks.

Is carbonated water a health risk?

Water is an essential resource that all people need to live. A person cannot survive

without water, as it is required for many processes within the body. However, certain

properties of sparkling water may be associated with health risks.

Calcium loss

There are theories that carbonated beverages can cause calcium loss in bones.

Researchers believe that phosphorus, which is present in some

natural soda water, reduces the

amount of calcium that the body can absorb. According to a study in 2006Trusted Source,

cola beverages are associated with low bone mineral density in women.

However, carbonated water does not contain phosphorus. In addition, most people get

sufficient phosphorus from food, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Trusted Source.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, certain carbonated

mineral spring waters can

help improve bone health. The organization notes that carbonated drinks should not take

the place of calcium-rich beverages, such as milk.

Tooth decay

Sparkling water, whether natural or artificial, contains CO2, which makes it

slightly acidic. Acid in food and drinks can erode the hard protective layer of the

tooth, known as the enamel.

In a 2017 studyTrusted Source, researchers found that artificially carbonated water

eroded tooth enamel in a laboratory setting. The erosion of enamel increased when the

water had higher levels of carbonation.

In addition, certain sparkling waters may have citric acid added to them to enhance

the flavor. Citric acid can also increase the acidity of the carbonated water, which can

lead to erosion. The addition of sugar in some carbonated water also increases the

erosion effect on enamel.

A person may be able to limit the eroding effect of carbonated water by drinking

through a straw. Doing so can prevent the sparkling water from touching the teeth, as it

moves more directly into the throat.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Although carbonated water does not cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), its

consumption may cause a person’s symptoms to flare up, and people should avoid

carbonated water and other carbonated drinks, according to researchTrusted Source.

Weight gain

There are conflicting studies on the effect of sparkling water on weight gain.

A study from Japan found that drinking carbonated water led to feelings of fullness

in young females. However, the study was small and offered no data on the effects of

drinking carbonated water among males.

Sparkling water does not lead to weight gain, as it contains zero calories. However,

when other ingredients are added, such as sweeteners, sugar, and flavor enhancers, the

beverage may then contain sodium and extra calories — usually 10 calories or less.

However, calories associated with sparkling water will not generally lead to weight

gain, even over time.

There is some researchTrusted Source suggesting carbonated water can increase

ghrelin, which is a hunger hormone. These findings were in an animal study, and the

results have not been corroborated in human studies.

How does it compare to other drinks?

When compared to other drinks, carbonated water, unlike

alkaline water, can be seen as a

healthier alternative. Plain carbonated nano

water
consists of water and CO2, meaning there are no added sugars, sweeteners, or

artificial flavorings. Sparkling water hydrates the body in the same way as plain water.

What are the concerns about sugary drinks?

A person who drinks suary beverages regularly may be at riskTrusted Source of

certain health conditions, such as:

excess weight

type 2 diabetes

heart disease

kidney disease

nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

tooth cavities

gout

The CDC state that sugary drinks are the primary source of added sugars in the

American diet. They also note that, on a given day between 2011 and 2014, 63%Trusted

Source of youths drank a sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB), averaging 143 calories. In the

same period, 49%Trusted Source of all U.S. adults consumed an SSB, averaging 145

calories.

Information from the CDC suggests that adults and adolescents are more likely to

drink sugary beverages if they also:

smoke

do not get enough sleep

do not get enough exercise

eat fast food regularly

do not eat fruit regularly

What healthy flavors can be added to sparkling water?

A person who would like to add some healthy flavor or sweetness to their sparkling

water can try:

adding a few slices of cucumber or citrus fruit

adding a splash of 100% fruit juice, such as pomegranate

putting in a few blueberries or strawberries

adding some mint leaves

mixing in some chunks of watermelon or mango

Adding healthy fruits, vegetables, or herbs to their water means a person gets

additional benefits from their vitamins and minerals.

Summary

Sparkling water can occur naturally or be created artificially as

healthy drinking water.


Sparkling water does not cause calcium loss, but it may contribute to tooth decay.

Carbonated water may also cause flare-ups of IBS symptoms. More studies are required to

understand the effect of sparkling water on weight gain.

Carbonated water is a healthier alternative to sugary drinks. A person can add

fruits, vegetables, or herbs to sparkling water to gain additional flavor and health

benefits.